Coal India mining operations hit by green and R&R delays

Mining giant Coal India has been hit with operational delays at 39 of its mining projects caused by issues relating to green clearances and R&R

Coal India has started its week facing a number of operational delays. Its Monday morning was littered with 39 mining projects affected by disruptions caused by issues relating to green clearances and rehabilitation and resettlement, with the continuation of problems looking set to affect production. 

The mining giant’s 39 coal projects are having to overcome operational obstacles including a backlog of forest clearances, as well as delays in key land possession. 

“114 coal projects with a sanctioned capacity of 836.48 million tonnes per year and a sanctioned capital of Rs 1,19,580.62 crore are in different stages of implementation out of which 75 projects are in schedule and 39 projects are delayed,” the company revealed in its report. 

Ongoing operational disruptions affecting 39 mining projects

The company’s delays look dismal for the short-term outlook for the coal industry, with over 80% of domestic coal output attributable to Coal India. And with more and more mining companies switching to more sustainable sources of energy and fuel, the backlog of operations could be a trigger to stimulate the transition to other sustainable alternatives in the sector, particularly in India. 

Currently, it’s predicted that the company will produce one billion tonnes of coal from 2023 to 2024, confident in its capabilities to meet the country’s coal demands. But as the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, responsible for approximately three gigatonnes of GHG emissions annually, it’s debatable as to how sustainable India’s sources of fuel and operational practices are, and whether Coal India is deemed responsible in its environmental endeavours to continue its operations. 

Sustainability prioritised to succeed in an environmentally-focused company climate

But the company is keen to press upon the importance the environment holds in its projects, and how its operations are attempting to adopt more sustainable measures. Coal India has reported planting almost two million saplings throughout FY’21 thus far, exceeding its pre-stated target by 16%. 

“CIL is alive and sensitive to the need of environmental protection and pursues sustainable mining practices persistently,” said Pramod Agrawal, Chairman at Coal India. “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. We make the world that we live in. So, with this belief, let us make our world a better place to live.”

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